Veterans Plaza Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

ribbon cutting veterans plaza

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Bakersfield College held a ribbon cutting ceremony to honor the Veterans plaza located in the center of the Panorama Campus. 

The plaza was built over the Summer of 2023 as a devotion and recognition of the Bakersfield College student veterans who serve our country. There are pillars with quotes from current veteran staff, faculty, and current veteran students and sitting areas for others to sit and learn about the people who fight for our freedom. 

As everyone gathered around to listen and honor these individuals, the National Anthem was sung by Evan Morgan, a veteran of the US Marine Corps. Following, was the raising of the American flag, the California state flag, and the POW flag by the Marine Corps League and Bakersfield East Marine Corps Recruiters. This served as a reminder that our freedom is fought for every single day by the veterans who choose to sacrifice their lives for the rights of its people. 

Speaker of the house and Bakersfield College Alumni, Kevin McCarthy spoke briefly, “Our freedoms are not free, they are the responsibility of those who are willing to serve their country.” McCarthy also presented the college a United States flag which has been flown over the nation's capital building.  

Crowds of staff, faculty, and students were present as well as community leaders, veterans from the community, and others who supported our troops and veterans. The event was a representation of the integrity of Bakersfield College, and the support for different groups of individuals who attend. 

“As a veteran, arriving at college can be very nerve wracking, but nevertheless, when stepping foot on the BC campus you are pleasantly surprised to find another veteran there to welcome you home.” says U.S. Army veteran who served in the airborne division and current renegade, Justin Foss.

The plaza will continue to serve as a place of inspiration, recognition and support even when students graduate and new students arrive. It is not only a devotion to our current staff and students, but will serve as history years from now. 

“Now when our veterans first step on our campus here at the home of the renegades, there will be no doubt in their minds that they are respected and have all the tools they need to build a better life for themselves and their families.” says President of Bakersfield College, Steve Watkin.

The event was concluded with a helicopter flyover by the Kern County Fire Dept, photos of all veterans present, and many who not only honored these individuals but learned about their sacrifice for our freedom.

The community is invited to come out and visit this new space, located in the center of campus and outside the Office of Student Life.